I was part of a group of people discussing insurance recently. Insurance companies are not, it seems, particularly popular with many people. What struck me, though, was the rather illogical approach people sometimes have.
Of these otherwise upstanding members of the community one was proud of how he had saved on his premiums by making false statements to the insurance company. Another was gloating at how he had managed to get more out of the company on a claim than he was entitled to.
How come, I wonder, was I being made to feel the odd one out in the conversation: either a fool or a prude.
The first person was aware that if he was found out (and in the event of a claim he was bound to be) his insurance policy would be null and void. He needn't have bothered with insurance in the first place. Oh no, sorry, one has to have car insurance - he'd never have thought of breaking the law. The second would probably never have been found out so will have got away with it. But had he been......
However, and herein lies the rub, both those people were defrauding me and the millions like me who are honest with their insurance companies and are actually subsidising and paying for the dishonesty of the others.
Fraud costs each of us with car insurance about £50 annually. It's the same principle as honest shoppers in supermarkets paying for the shoplifters. The irony is that not one of those who defrauded the insurance companies would ever have dreamt of shoplifting: that would, after all, be stealing and they are all honest upright citizens.